The writing has been on the cards for a long time regarding the future of DataPoint. It’s now official that the service will close shortly to be replaced by a new service called DataHub, the big difference is that from the look of things it’s only forecast NWP data that’s being made available and the fact that it will no longer be totally free to download.
So much for the movement to free up government data, you know the kind of data that we as taxpayers pay for, so agencies such as the Met Office can sell it back to us. DataPoint was always been a bit of a non-starter, but at least it did try to provide climate and observational data that the Met Office refuse to make public. I wrote several applications that used DataPoint but my heart went out of it when they replaced the 15 minute hi-resolution UK satellite imagery the service started with back in what must have been 2010, the reason behind that was the Met Office hadn’t realised that they didn’t own the data EUMETSAT did even though a significant proportion of their funding came from the UK.
It will be interesting to see just how much of the old data available on DataPoint will find its way onto the DataHub. Personally, I think this new cloud based service is aimed full square at the commercial market, and it’s even less likely to appeal, to weather and climate enthusiasts working from home that did the DataPoint service, which is a great shame because it could have been so much more.